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Greetings to each and everyone of you.


This section for English-speaking viewers –
and all those enjoying the culture –

has developed over the months and is now offering materials of all kinds:

texts, images, poems, videos, etc.

It will continue to provide you with rich contents week after week.

 

World Day of Prayer – 3 March 2023

Introduction

World Day of Prayer logoThe World Day of Prayer is a global ecumenical movement which brings Christians of many traditions together to observe a common day of prayer each year. Through preparation and participation in the worship service, we can learn how our sisters of other countries, languages and cultures understand the Biblical passages in their context.

We can hear their concerns and needs and can join in solidarity with them as we pray with and for them. In this way, it is possible to enrich our Christian faith as it grows deeper and broader in an international, ecumenical expression.

The motto of the World Day of Prayer movement is Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action. Through our participation in the World Day of Prayer, we affirm that prayer and action are inseparable and that both have immeasurable influence on the world.

World Day of Prayer in Canada

The World Day of Prayer traces its roots to the 19th century when Christian women of Canada and the United States became involved in missions at home and worldwide. Since 1812, women have encouraged one another to engage in personal prayer and lead communal prayer within their mission groups. Presbyterian women in the United States then called for a national day of prayer in 1887, and Anglican women in Canada established a national day of corporate intercessions for mission in 1895.

On October 19, 1918, Presbyterian women in Canada called together representatives of five Women’s Missionary Boards – Anglican, Baptist, Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian – “to promote the spreading of Christ’s kingdom through united prayer and action.” That first inter-church meeting gave birth to the Interim Committee on the Federation of the Women’s Missionary Society Boards of Canada, which organized a national and inter denominational day of prayer on January 9, 1920.

In 1922, the Canadian and U.S. committees agreed to use the same theme and day for the Day of Prayer as U.S. women. This annual event became the Women’s World Day of Prayer in 1927. The Canadian committee changed its name to become the Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada and now includes representatives from 11 church partners. This council continues to coordinate the World Day of Prayer in Canada and to speak to issues that concern women of faith across the country.

 

Source: Text: https://wicc.org/world-day-of-prayer/what-is-wdp/    Image: YouTube

World Wildlife Day – 3 March

World Wildlife 2021 poster

On 20 December 2013, the Sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly decided to proclaim 3 March as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. The date is the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973, which plays an important role in ensuring that international trade does not threaten the species’ survival.

Previously, 3 March had been designated as World Wildlife Day in a resolution made at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP16) held in Bangkok from 3 to 14 March 2013. The CITES resolution was sponsored by the Kingdom of Thailand, the Host of CITES CoP16, which transmitted the outcomes of CITES CoP16 to the UN General Assembly.

The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in collaboration with other relevant United Nations organizations, facilitates the implementation of World Wildlife Day.

With 183 Member States, CITES remains one of the world’s most powerful tools for biodiversity conservation through the regulation of trade in wild fauna and flora.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-wildlife-day/

World Compliment Day – 1 March

HISTORY OF WORLD COMPLIMENT DAY

After many successful celebrations of National Compliment Day, founder Hans Poortvliet from the Netherlands decided to turn it into World Compliment Day, dedicating a world-wide holiday to radiating positivity. March 1 is just about consciously reflecting on what someone in your community does well and letting them know they are sincerely appreciated for that. With a specific emphasis on showing appreciation through words instead of gifts, this holiday can be celebrated by anyone, anywhere. The reason being that a sincere personal compliment costs nothing, but has the potential to make an enormous impact.

Professional recognition is important, as Hans himself said, “Nothing stimulates more, gives more energy, makes people happier and, as far as business is concerned increases productivity and commitment faster than sincere appreciation. So why not use it a little bit more?” We couldn’t agree more! 

Compliments are one of the ways in which we show solidarity, cooperation, friendliness, and goodwill. When such traits as individualism and hard work are culturally valued, being rewarded for your personal performance through the acknowledgment of others can be a very effective motivator. As it says on the World Compliment Day website: “If on March 1st every person pays at least three people in his/her environment or (social) network a genuine and sincere compliment we will definitely create the Most Positive Day in the World!”

But more than that, we should all remember the importance of making people feel appreciated, it is a natural human need to feel recognized, and no one should feel ashamed for wanting it. Receiving recognition feels amazing, and giving recognition is just as enjoyable, watching someone’s face light up after offering them a nice compliment is a full-on win-win.

But adults tend to feel like they don’t need to reward people even with just verbal praise if they are simply doing what’s expected of them. So too often we are left underappreciated and overworked in pursuit of that validation. Let’s end that tawdry tradition of untapped egos, we want everyone to feel good about themselves so the world might be a better place!

 

Source: Text: https://nationaltoday.com/world-compliment-day/     Image: Vecteezy

Rare Disease Day – 28 February 2023

Raising awareness and generating change for the 300 million people worldwide living with a rare disease, their families and carers.

This year, our focus is equity. Everyone deserves equitable opportunities and access to health care but people living with a rare disease are more likely to experience treatment inequality, misdiagnosis and isolation. For #RareDiseaseDay 2023 on February 28, let’s light up in solidarity with over 300 million people living with a rare condition and share our colours!

Source: Text & Image: https://www.rarediseaseday.org/

World NGO Day  – 27 February

World NGO Day is celebrated in more than 89 countries and over six continents

Each year World NGO Day is celebrated on February 27th.

Back in 2014, the 27th of February became a historic day for the NGO community worldwide. Thisinternational calendar day, now known as “World NGO day,” was inaugurated for the first time internationally.

World NGO Day is an international day dedicated to recognize, celebrate and honour all non-governmental and nonprofit organizations, and the people behind them that contribute to the society all year around.

 

Source: Text: https://worldngoday.org/    Image: Riti Riwaz

1st Sunday of Lent, Year A – 2023

A very small word (in the English language), it can determine much of life… IF…

 IF… suggests some conditions,
          opens up possibilities,
          outlines options,
          implies choices,
          calls on a person’s freedom…

It is the very word that we find repeated three times in today’s gospel text (Matthew 4:1-11).
Satan, sometimes referred to as ‘the Devil’, uses this expression in addressing Jesus.
He frames in this way the temptations with which he challenges Jesus.

Twice, Satan says:
       “If you are the Son of God…”

Having failed to obtain what he wants, Satan changes the format of his attack and says:
      “If you will bow down and worship me.”

The strategy of the Devil is threefold, it is all at once:

  • a challenge to Jesus very identity,
  • a test of his total commitment to the only God,
  • a promise of reward for giving in to the temptation.

Our daily life presents us with many ‘IF situations’…
They have the same purpose:
challenging our identity and testing our commitment to God,
with a promise, of course, to satisfy our longing, and our craving, for some desired ‘good’.

Often times, we are faced with these words or similar ones:
         ‘If you think about it, you will agree that…
         ‘If you see what others do, you will accept also…
         ‘If you remember what happened, you cannot refuse…
         ‘If you love me, you will do this…

Each one of us can make his/her own list of IF statements of confrontation, or provocation.
Every one entails a decision that will make clear who we are, and to whom we have committed ourselves.

This period of Lent is precisely a moment of becoming aware of
who we are,
and who God is for us.

The very challenge that Jesus faced.
He cannot fail to help us respond to it as he did.

      

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/1er-dimanche-du-careme-annee-a-2023/

 

Source: Image: Aleteia

Ash Wednesday, Year A – 2023

Children like to exchange secrets as they whisper to one another.
Teenagers will hide their secrets in a very private diary.
Spies, of course, are masters of the secret world.
Lovers, it is said, thrive on well-guarded secrets of their own.

Could it be that even… God enjoys secrets?
Today’s gospel text would lead us to believe so (Matthew 6:1-6,16-18).
Three times, Jesus repeats:

“Your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

The gospel message could be summarized in these words:
When we want to please God, we should not be acting a part in public.
Praying, fasting, giving alms – these special actions that we are advised to do in this period of Lent –
should be done only and purely “in secret” – with the sole intention of coming closer to God.

The temptation can arise to impress others with our self-denial, or our generosity.
Pretending to be holy is not the genuine holiness, but make-believe.
Showing off under the guise of religious observance is something fictitious.

Jesus’ message is clear and direct:
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. 
If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

Intimacy with God – which is what Lent invites us to – is best achieved “in secret”.
This is THE way to God’s presence experienced in deed and in truth…

 

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/mercredi-des-cendres-annee-a-2023/

 

Source: Image: God’s Kingdom Come – She Reads Truth

 

Mardi Gras – 21 February 2023

Mardi Gras is a Christian holiday and popular cultural phenomenon that dates back thousands of years to pagan spring and fertility rites. Also known as Carnival or Carnaval, it’s celebrated in many countries around the world—mainly those with large Roman Catholic populations—on the day before the religious season of Lent begins. Brazil, Venice and New Orleans play host to some of the holiday’s most famous public festivities, drawing thousands of tourists and revelers every year.

When Is Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras is traditionally celebrated on “Fat Tuesday,” the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.  In many areas, however, Mardi Gras has evolved into a week-long festival.

Mardi Gras 2023 will fall on Tuesday, February 21. Following two years of canceled events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrations in New Orleans resumed in 2022.

What Is Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras is a tradition that dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, including the raucous Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia.

When Christianity arrived in Rome, religious leaders decided to incorporate these popular local traditions into the new faith, an easier task than abolishing them altogether. As a result, the excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of fasting and penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.

Along with Christianity, Mardi Gras spread from Rome to other European countries, including France, Germany, Spain and England.

What Does Mardi Gras Mean?

Mardi is the French word for Tuesday, and gras means “fat.” In France, the day before Ash Wednesday came to be known as Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday.”

Traditionally, in the days leading up to Lent, merrymakers would binge on all the rich, fatty foods—meat, eggs, milk, lard and cheese—that remained in their homes, in anticipation of several weeks of eating only fish and different types of fasting.

The word carnival, another common name for the pre-Lenten festivities, also derives from this feasting tradition: in Medieval Latin, carnelevarium means to take away or remove meat, from the Latin carnem for meat.

 

Source: Text & Image: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/mardi-gras      2è image: Freepik

International Mother Language Day – 21 February 2023

Multilingual education – a necessity to transform education

Globally 40 per cent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand. But progress is being made in multilingual education with growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life.

International Mother Language Day recognizes that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion, and the Sustainable Development Goals’ focus on leaving no one behind. UNESCO encourages and promotes multilingual education based on mother tongue or first language. It is a type of education that begins in the language that the learner masters most and then gradually introduces other languages. This approach enables learners whose mother tongue is different from the language of instruction to bridge the gap between home and school, to discover the school environment in a familiar language, and thus, learn better.

Multilingualism contributes to the development of inclusive societies that allow multiple cultures, worldviews and knowledge systems to coexist and cross-fertilize.

The theme of the 2023 International Mother Language Day, “Multilingual education – a necessity to transform education” aligns with recommendations made during the Transforming Education Summit, where an emphasis was also placed on Indigenous people’s education and languages.

Multilingual education based on mother-tongue facilitates access to and inclusion in learning for population groups that speak non-dominant languages, languages of minority groups and indigenous languages. 

 

Source: Text & Image: un.org

7th Sunday of Year A – 2023

Reading the word of God in the Bible, one can experience all kinds of feelings:

joy and consolation,
hope and anticipation,
wonder and questioning,
regret, perhaps… or helplessness?…

But there are times when the feeling is one of surprise – total and unexpected amazement!
The first lines of today’s 2nd reading can awaken such a reaction.
Writing to the Corinthians, Paul somehow admonishes them in these words (1 Corinthians 3:16-23):

“Didn’t you realize that you were God’s temple,
and that the Spirit of God was living among you…
The temple of God is sacred; and you are that temple.”

These words are truly astonishing.
Just pause for a moment and ask yourself:
If, one day, someone came to you and asked you that very question:
‘Do you realize that YOU are God’s temple’, how would you answer?

I think that, faced with this situation, many people would be taken aback,
possibly unable – or unwilling – to answer!
How many of us, Christians, ARE AWARE of this reality?

A temple is seen as a sacred building since it is the location where worship happens.
It is considered to be a place for ritual celebrations.
In other words: it is reserved for activities related to God.

But, on the eve of his death, Jesus told his apostles (John 14:23):

“If anyone loves me, he(she), will keep my word,
my Father will love him(her),
and we shall come to him(her),
and make our home with him(her).”

With the word ‘home’, Jesus meant more than a building, or a simple location.
Obviously, he had in mind something that goes beyond wood or bricks.
Jesus was speaking of a relationship.

This is what we are called to: a relationship of close proximity with God.

Something amazing, yes, but more still:
something absolutely wonderful that needs to be discovered anew – and lived – day after day…

 

Note: Another text is available on a different theme, in French at: https://image-i-nations.com/7e-dimanche-de-lannee-a-2023/

 

Source: Image: Scripture Images